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DOWNLOA Six ways to shoot yourself in the foot during an IT job interview

By JodyGilbert ·

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You should worry

by simphiwe In reply to LMAO..WAS HE AN H1-B VISA ...

You are highly prejudice. No one would know jack if put under microscope. I wouldn't have to put you in a microscope to see that you have professional jealousy.

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Not completely sure about 4

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to sho ...

I can see what you are trying say, but where do you see yourself in two years time is regularish question, so you need an answer for it that does not cast you in a bad light.

Six I never heard of in the UK, the letter, not thanking your interviewers. Sounds like a good idea that might not go down well.

Any thoughts from UK based interviewers ?

7 would have been when they say Have you any questions. Have some !
Company culture is always a good one for techie jobs, and it gets any non technical people on the panel involved.

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Agree, also with #6

by Gabby22 In reply to Not completely sure about ...

Asking if the position has some sort of career path is a good question if framed properly. It shows you're taking the position seriously and may not be just another desk-hopper. I think it might get some interesting answers, too.

I might have seen the odd example of #6. Can't see it doing any damage apart from annoying the panel leader with something else to read. Certainly wouldn't put it in my top 50 thinks to do, but.

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Very good article

by stress junkie In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to sho ...

I thought that all of the items listed in the article were very important to a successful initial job interview.

I noticed that a couple of people criticized the article for saying that you should stay away from the subject of job advancement. If they read the article more closely they would see that it says to avoid this subject in the initial interview and save it for the second or third job interview. I agree with the article on this point.

I agree with Tony Hopkinson about follow up letters. I have never sent a follow up letter, and I have rarely made a follow up phone call. If I have gotten an interview through a recruiter then I find that the interviewing manager usually talks to the recruiter while I am travelling home. I call the recruiter when I arrive home and they either say that I didn't get the job or that I need to schedule a second interview. So I'm saying that even if the hiring manager takes a long time to fill a job the manager will make a decision about each candidate quickly. I have, therefore, never found follow up communications necessary or even desireable.

I agree with Info-Safety about demeanor. Acting like a know-it-all, or acting like a question that is posed to you is insulting to you, or acting in any way that is disrespectful to the person interviewing you is probably a bad idea. It's one thing to be confident, which is good. It's another thing to be a jackass, which probably should be avoided.

This checklist article would be a good tool for anyone to review before going to an interview.

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Following Up

by Chuck T In reply to Very good article

Stress Junkie makes a good point about the hiring process these days. As a tech manager, I actually try to "hide" behind the HR people and recruiters to some extent since there are so many applicants for every position. I know most, if not all, of the other managers I have worked with are the same way. It's unfortunate, but with the amount of e-mail that gets sent these days, I can't imagine receiving e-mail from every person I interview. I have even had some people who figured out my e-mail address and wanted to know why they didn't get the job.

Don't even bother with snail mail. Usually feedback goes out before you would even have a chance to get home. Most likely, a card would be met with "how nice, too bad we already hired the other person."

Now if you are brought back for subsequent interviews or do get the job, it is definitely a good idea to seek out everyone you interviewed with at the company and thank them personally for their time. This may be difficult on a second interview, but you could always politely ask the person you are interviewing with if they would extend your thanks to so and so. Remembering the names of the people you talked with is pretty important here. This shows that you have people skills--something that seems to be sorely lacking in many IT people.

My final point is to remember that you are also making a selection during your job search. I don't agree with the "at least you have a job" mentality. Today's market is too competitive on both sides of the conference table for you to accept a position you will not be happy with. Part of my interview process when I am bringing a new person aboard is trying to determine not only if they have the necessary skills, but will they fit with the culture and be happy. The last thing I want to do is be interviewing for the same position again in 3-6 months.

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Six ways....

by odee100 In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to sho ...

Very interesting article.

I agree with the article about waiting until the second or third interview to discuss further opportunities. I had one interview for a tech position where my resume still said I was interested in programming. The interviewer asked if he was supposed to waste his time training me so that I could jump ship and move to another department in less than two years. I just froze and stammered along. Luckily, I still managed to get the job.

The part about pay always confuses me though. I hate to ask too early, but I don't want to waste my time or theirs if it is too low. I need to know that the job will take care of my bills and daycare expenses, or else I need to look elsewhere. Always an awkward moment!

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Additional Items

by support In reply to DOWNLOAD: Six ways to sho ...

Having recently experienced a number of interviews, I would add the following items:
7. Do your research on the company. I've had one interview recently that seemed to be going well until they asked me what I knew about their company and what they did. Being a Telco, I assumed that I knew what they did... the interview suddenly went very cold. When you do your research, it usually really shows up during the interview.
8. Prepare a list of questions to be asked at an interview. I usually have a list so that even if my questions are all answered during the interview, when they ask me if I have any questions, I can make a show of going through the list and complementing them on their thoroughness of covering all the main points. One good question I've found to ask is, "Tell me about the company culture."
9. Prepare for the stock questions, "Tell us about your biggest success/failure", and "What qualities do you think you will bring to this job." Make sure to use good solid professional work-based examples. There's always one or two that'll catch you out but failing to prepare here can be a real disaster.
I agree with a previous post regarding UK & follow up letters/thankyou letters. I always make a point of thanking the interviewers for their time at the end of the interview, but I'm really not sure that a follow up letter would be seen as particularly welcome - and I can see where this could go disasterously wrong, e.g. mis-spelling names not heard properly during the interview.

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One More Thing

by DMambo In reply to Additional Items

I agree with Support@'s additions. Those are 3 important preparations. One more thing is to ask someone else to carefully proofread your resume. After working on it for a long time, it's difficult to see some errors. A pair of fresh eyes can do wonders.


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Saying thank you has gotten me jobs

by cberding In reply to Additional Items

It's not really that hard to ask the secretary or someone else in the HR department how to spell names, etc., for a thank you note. It's not a sure sign that you'll get a job, but can be handy.

Sending that thank you note got me my first job in IT as a network technician in 1998. None of the other applicants sent any. My supervisor told me that's what clinched the deal.

Also, in the last couple of years, I've noticed some companies are using personality tests for potential hires. I missed out on one job because they did this. Don't expect them to tell you what they're looking for, either.

I know how people feel about bills, etc., but if the job is not going to come close to what I need to live, I politely decline an interview. It all depends on how you want to handle things.

When you do your research, you should always have a ballpark of what someone is paying. I've asked HR people directly, and they've often told me the range for a position. I sent in a resume to one hospital for an IT job and the supervisor chided me for asking what the range was because they refused to interview anyone who didn't give them an exact dollar amount. I went to HR (who was the main contact, anyway) and they told me right away what the range was. I then gave him the top figure. ;->

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Follow-up/Thank You's

by j.lupo In reply to Additional Items

More and More I am hearing that thank-you's and follow-ups are really not a good idea. The literature on interviewing still states that you absolutely need to do this to keep your name active. However, with the technology used today it seems to really have issues.

I have a phone interview coming, and I plan to thank the search committee at the end. I might send a quick e-mail to the executive assistant that set-up the conference call and to pass on my thanks to (list of names). I MIGHT do this and I might not. I haven't decided.

There is too much e-mail these days and snail mail (even over-nighting it) just won't do the trick because it might not get into the hiring manager's hands. Now if I actually meet them in person on a 2nd or 3rd interview, I will make certain to have thank you cards with me and drop them off on my way back out of town. Yes the job is out of state from where I live. :)

Thank you's are very tricky. Not sending could show a lack of interest, and sending could be too much considering the mail they get now.

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